New international net zero standard led by BSI

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is spearheading the creation of an internationally verifiable standard for net zero compliance. This groundbreaking initiative is designed to bring much-needed clarity and robustness to the net zero transition, accelerating global progress towards sustainability. This development offers investment and stewardship teams a reliable framework to assess and ensure credible climate actions within their portfolios.

The upcoming standard, slated for release at COP30 in November 2025, will serve as a comprehensive guide for organisations worldwide aiming for net zero. This collaborative effort involves thousands of experts from national standards bodies across more than 170 countries. Notably, the process will be convened by BSI and ICONTEC, Colombia’s National Standards Body, with a public consultation scheduled for late 2025 to incorporate global feedback and ensure inclusivity.

Building on previous efforts

BSI will leverage the ISO Net Zero Guidelines, which it previously developed and launched at COP27. The new standard aims to elevate these guidelines into a verifiable framework, providing clear and credible pathways for achieving net zero. This initiative is particularly critical in addressing issues of greenwashing by establishing stringent guidelines and requirements to verify the authenticity of net zero claims.

Despite 83% of UK businesses committing to net zero targets, significant challenges remain. According to recent BSI research conducted with the University of Oxford, 23% lack confidence in meeting the 2050 deadline due to complexities and gaps in existing voluntary standards and guidelines. The forthcoming international standard seeks to resolve these ambiguities, providing businesses with the clarity and confidence needed to pursue effective net zero strategies.

Leadership and vision

Susan Taylor Martin, Chief Executive of BSI, emphasised the importance of this collaborative endeavour, describing it as a crucial step in the global fight against climate change. She highlighted the complex nature of the net zero landscape and the urgent need for clear, credible standards to transform ambition into actionable progress. Roberto Montoya, CEO of ICONTEC, echoed this sentiment, stressing the responsibility of developing a transparent and credible standard and inviting global participation in this essential project.

Call to action

Experts and stakeholders interested in contributing to the development of this standard are encouraged to engage with their National Standard Body’s climate change management committee. This is a unique opportunity for professionals in investment and stewardship to ensure that the standards reflect the practical needs and challenges of various sectors and geographies.

The development of an internationally verifiable standard for net zero compliance by BSI marks a milestone in global climate action. For investment and stewardship teams, this standard will provide a reliable framework to evaluate and support credible net zero initiatives, ultimately fostering greater confidence and accountability in the pursuit of a sustainable future. As we move closer to COP30, the anticipation and involvement of global experts will be crucial in shaping a standard that meets the diverse needs of the global community.

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